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items tagged with Idris Elba

If He Had a Hammer ... : "Thor" and "Something Borrowed"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2011-05-08 22:53:36

Chris Hemsworth and Natalie Portman in ThorTHOR

Prior to the film’s release, I wouldn’t have thought any director a worse candidate for helming the hugely budgeted comic-book adaptation Thor than Kenneth Branagh, that frequent interpreter of Shakespeare whose one foray into Hollywood-blockbuster(-wannabe) terrain was 1994’s monstrously terrible Frankenstein. In retrospect, I’m not sure any director would have proved a better choice. Two days after seeing Branagh’s grandly produced yet subtly frisky entertainment, I’m still a bit shocked at how strong the results are; against all logic, Thor’s director has successfully melded his movie’s wildly disparate elements into an action-packed thrill ride (in 3D!) that, incredibly, also manages to be emotionally satisfying, and oftentimes funny as hell.


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Devilish Fun: "The Last Exorcism," "Get Low," and "Takers"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2010-08-30 01:09:19

Ashley Bell in The Last ExorcismTHE LAST EXORCISM

For the majority of its length, The Last Exorcism is a hell of a good time. I'd love to say that's because the movie is terrifying, but it isn't, really; the biggest jolt you're likely to experience comes in the first 20 minutes, when a teen unexpectedly hits a car's rear window with a rock. Yet until it goes seriously off the rails in its final third, director Daniel Stamm's low-tech scare flick is clever and engrossing (without being all that gross), and it boasts a protagonist who's something unique for his genre: a funny, friendly sort whom you're still aching to see get what's coming to him.
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How Lo Can You Go?: "The Back-up Plan," "The Losers," and "Oceans"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2010-04-25 19:07:08

Alex O'Loughlin and Jennifer Lopez in The Back-up PlanTHE BACK-UP PLAN

"All right. Let's hear your pitch."

"Well, we're calling it The Back-Up Plan. It's about this successful single woman named Zoe, desperate for a baby but fed up with the New York dating scene, who decides to get artificially inseminated and raise the child on her own."

"Ah. So you're thinking an intimate character drama about the hardships of pregnancy and single-motherhood?"

"Oh, hell no. Slapstick romantic comedy! You see, only a few minutes after her procedure, Zoe hails a cab and gets inside at the exact same moment that a handsome stranger does! They argue about who saw the cab first, Zoe storms off in a huff, and whammo! They're in love!"
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She Is... Sasha Fierce: "Obsessed," "The Soloist," and "Earth"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2009-04-27 12:44:20

Idris Elba and Ali Larter in ObsessedOBSESSED

A Fatal Attraction without the slow-cooking rabbit - and, strangely, without the adultery - the Steve Shill thriller Obsessed reaches its raison d'être in the final reel, when Beyoncé Knowles' wronged wife stands off against Ali Larter's vixen from hell, and the pop star hisses, "I knew it would come to this." So did we all, Beyoncé. But did it have to come so late?


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Get Off His Lawn: "Gran Torino," "The Unborn," and "Bride Wars"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2009-01-12 15:48:55

Clint Eastwood in Gran TorinoGRAN TORINO

As much as I love Unforgiven, Million Dollar Baby, and Bronco Billy, I'll admit that I've never been a huge Clint Eastwood fan. (Don't remember Bronco Billy? The 12-year-old in me will never forget it.) Gran Torino, however, is something truly special, a simple - though not simple-minded - and straightforward melodrama that succeeds as both a heartfelt meditation on aging and an exhilarating crowd-pleaser, and Clint is so thrillingly, spectacularly Clint in his latest directorial offering that it's likely his performance won't just please fans, but ensnare a batch of new ones. After catching the movie in Chicagoland during the holidays, I saw it again this past weekend both for the sheer enjoyment of the experience and to see if Gran Torino is really as good as I remembered. It is. (I also wanted to hear lines I originally missed through our raucous audience laughter, but no luck - the cackles were just as loud this time around. Maybe on a third viewing.)


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